For eighteen years I have owned a cell phone, we live in a society now where we can’t remember not having one and there is a generation that doesn’t even know what life was like without one.
For the first time in all those years I experienced life without a cell phone. It was a Friday last week and I was leaving the day program to head to my gig in Philadelphia, the trip in rush hour would be about three hours and change. I was leaving at 4:15 and the gig was at 9:30 so it gave me plenty of time to get there even with bad weather coming in.
I jumped in my car and left, about three minutes after I left I checked that I had everything and then my blood ran cold “I LEFT MY CELL PHONE AT THE DAY PROGRAM”. I immediately turned around to head back when I saw my coworker who locked up pass me by. I then turned around and then tried to catch up to him with speeds that would make Vin Diesel shit his pants, but no luck he was gone. I immediately went back to the office to see if anyone was there as someone maybe staying late, but no it was a Friday afternoon and the place was locked tighter than a crab’s ass.
I sat there and as I stared at the building I came to the fact that I will be without a phone for the weekend and I will also have to drive to Philly without a phone. I was pissed at myself for being so stupid and this was the second time recently I lost track of one of my belongings ,the last time was in November when Davin and I were on the road in Myrtle beach and I left my bag in the comedy club parking lot. This time wasn’t as bad as I know where the phone is and that it is safe unless the cleaning people steal it which I doubt as they always are very honest but none the less it was still on my mind.
I had no choice, it is what it is and I started to head to Philly. The trip west through Long Island was fine but when I had got to Brooklyn there was a string of nasty thunderstorms and there was flooding everywhere. I heard on the radio that the Belt parkway which is one of the main roads to get off Long Island into Jersey was stopped, as I have been gigging for twenty two years I know all the short cuts and I took the local roads which were slow but moving. When I got to the Verrazano Bridge which is how you get from Long Island to Staten Island and then to Jersey it was already six forty five. Time was ticking and not in my favor. I will just make this gig and if I am running late I will just call, oh yeah that’s right” I DON’T HAVE A PHONE”. How am I going to call and let them know I am running late, I am the headliner and if I am really late I can still make my spot but how would they know?
I crossed the bridge and the ride through Staten Island was brutal as the flooding from the storm wreaked havoc. I figured when I got into Jersey it would be better, it was seven thirty when I got into Jersey and it was just getting worse. As I am sitting in traffic I am trying to get a game plan going. When I get on The New Jersey Turnpike I will go to a travel plaza and find a pay phone to call the club, however there are no more pay phones anymore and do you know what and idiot I would feel like looking for one “ Do you have a pay phone? Yeah it’s by the Telegraph office stupid”. Another option is maybe find someone in charge at the rest stop and explain the situation and I could borrow their phone or they could call the club for me.
It was eight fifteen when I got to the New Jersey Turnpike, I know from years of working at this club that it takes forty five minutes from the exit I’m at to get to the club. I decided to haul ass at eighty to ninety miles an hour down the turnpike and then into Pennsylvania. Arrival time for the nine thirty show is nine PM. I got there at nine o’ two, I got there with not one minute to spare but thank god I did not have to use a phone.
The one thing that concerned me is I wrote to Joe’s girl that I was leaving for Philly right before I left the phone at the day program. I was worried because I know she would be worried and I could not write back to her until I got home and onto my desk top computer at three am.
The trip home was uneventful and then there was Saturday. I had to go to the car dealer and sit for two and a half hours for something that was supposed to take an hour and a half. I did not miss my phone as I was making notes for our Davin’s Den Scams the Scammers clips. They take time to log and edit( so I hope you listen to them) anyway that kept me busy and I am on my way home now to have a nice lunch and then leave for the gig again in Philly. I have to leave at five. At quarter to three I get a flat five miles from my house. The only place to change the tire is a sandy patch on the side of the road. I look at the situation, I have two hours to change the tire, put on the donut spare, find a tire place to fix the tire and put it back on the truck and get to Philly. And again no phone if something goes wrong.
A Good Samaritan helped me with a better jack and gave me a tip on how to get the tire off as it was stuck to the rotor. After forty minutes, cutting my hand on the cheap shit jack handle, and being covered in sand and sweat I was on my way back to the house. I got home took a shower and headed to the gig trying to find a tire place on the way because I can’t drive to Philly on a donut.
It is now four thirty and of the two of the tire places I went to, one could not get me out until six, and the other one could not work on the car until the next day. I knew that there was one of those “We Fix Flats” places so I decided that I will just head west on the donut and if I had to I would have to drive forty miles an hour to Jersey on the donut and if that goes flat I will just call the club,, oh yeah that’s right, NO PHONE. With luck I found the fix a flat guy and I was on my way by five.
The trip to the gig was fine and I got there with time to spare. I did find that when you do have down time without a smart phone you don’t know what to do with yourself. It amazes me that for two days I was off the grid and besides of the necessity of a phone in case of an emergency I did not miss it much as it was nice to get a break from the texts and emails.
I got into the Day Program Monday morning and immediately started to look for the phone. I went to the two places that I thought they might be,,,,it’s not there. One of my coworkers tried to call the phone and no ringing. I am now starting to freak out as I just paid the phone off last month and I can’t afford a new one. As I walk past the reception desk there it is. The cleaning people found it and left a note. What a sense of relief. It is amazing how much we rely on these things and they are such a big part of our lives and how something that was not even around twenty five years ago is now a needed appliance.
During this whole ordeal I was saying to myself that there must be a reason for all of this, and I believe there was, the first text and voice mail was from my estranged wife saying she is not signing the Divorce papers sent to her. And there is the reason, why ruin the weekend with bad news, and about the divorce? That will be a story for another day. Got to go the phone is ringing.